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Posted at 5:45 PM ET, 02/24/2011

Prosecutors seek death penalty

By Tom Jackman
Tom Jackman

Fairfax County went for 12 years without a case ending in the death penalty. But now Fairfax prosecutors, having obtained one death sentence in December and pressing for another one this month, have added a capital murder charge to a case that was set for trial next month.

Chung A. Auh, 53, was found dead in her home on Hummer Road in the Annandale area in July 2009, where she also ran an acupuncture business. Her throat had been cut, a police affidavit said.

Court records show that Fairfax homicide detectives used grainy surveillance camera footage, bloody footprints and DNA to link a Dublin, Ohio, man, Danny Kim, to the slaying. Kim was arrested in October 2009.

While pretrial motions and hearings proceeded, Fairfax detectives continued to obtain search warrants and do further blood and DNA testing, court records showed. Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh said Thursday that "additional evidence has come to light" that convinced prosecutors to upgrade the charge to capital murder from a maximum of first-degree murder. A Fairfax grand jury handed up the new indictment of Kim on Tuesday and it was unsealed Wednesday.

The trial is set for March 21. Morrogh said he hoped that date would not change. Kim's attorneys, Andrea Moseley and Christopher Leibig, declined to comment. The judge handling the case is Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Lorraine Nordlund, who joined the circuit court bench last February after serving 14 years as a district court judge.

By Tom Jackman  | February 24, 2011; 5:45 PM ET
Categories:  From the Courthouse, Homicide, Tom Jackman, Updates  
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I'm really disappointed that there hasn't been a capital punishment conviction in 12 years.

Beyond murderers, I can think of drug dealers, kidnappers, rapists, pedophiles, et. al., who need to be put down and removed from society, many of them in the past 12 years.

If I were in charge, I would sign an executive order detailing an aggressive expansion of capital punishment and I would allow slower, more painful means of execution (instead of the wussy injection crap).

Posted by: playahatah | February 25, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

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